Friday, 20 October 2017

Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev

Details of the Book

No. of Pages   : 248 pages
ISBN               : 9386228386 (ISBN13: 9789386228383)
Language        : English

From the book blurb
From selling chawanprash on a bicycle and teaching yoga to small groups of people in the late 1990s, today Baba Ramdev is a media mogul who can shake governments. He sits at the top of a multi-billion-dollar consumer goods empire that sells everything from swadeshi jeans to ghee and has taken the yoga revolution down to small-town India. This is his story.

Priyanka Pathak-Narain is a journalist who covered religion and business for the newspaper Mint for several years.

What I think
Indians are crazy about cricket, movies, politics and godmen. When a godman like Baba Ramdev chooses media and politics to convey his ideologies, people could only be convinced and influenced easily. And this mindset of people explains the rise of someone like Baba Ramdev. He is doubtlessly shrewd and has specific goals. He understands people’s sentiments and knows how to rightly influence. He is in fact a phenomenon who took yoga to the living room of commoners and made them believe that it is doable. He is a magician who made people believe that healthy living is not as complex as it is projected; neither is it an expensive affair. His exercises are often simple and easy to practice, often targeting housewives and older generation. And well, he rose to further stardom when he joined hands with Anna Hazare. The saffron cloth, yoga tips and some political stunt for a cause that was more emotional than anything for Indians made him famous. It also resulted in better turnover to his business. Today, he is a business tycoon. But who is Baba Ramdev? How did he become what he is today? These are some of the inevitable questions in our head. Priyanka Pathak-Narain’s Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev may have not have answers to these questions, but it surely takes us through Baba Ramdev’s life through the eyes of those who have known him over years.

Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev is more like a summary of investigation journalism report than biography. It makes us aware of his empire and introduces us to those who belong to his shielded inner circle. His early years are vague and so are the descriptions of his present lifestyle. This only adds more mystery to his enigmatic personality. However, it succeeds in establishing that Baba Ramdev is a leader and visionary. More than a godman, he has the characteristics of a tycoon – shrewd and diplomatic. Priyanka Pathak-Narain has ensured that the book is a compulsive page-turner and keeps us hooked to the details although the incidents narrated are vague and inconclusive. Of course, she wins because she has presented the facts as facts and has not taken any sides.

In short, this book would have been another account of Baba Ramdev’s life if the injunction order was not passed against the sale of the book. In no time, it seemed like a forbidden fruit which we wanted to taste. And what a taste the book had! Bitter and sour most of the times. There are so many shocking revelations (I don’t want to be a spoil sport!) which will surely make us feel uneasy. In a way, it further assures that politics could be dirty and business is nothing but a game of politics!

Go for it! It will give some perspectives – A MUST READ J


PS: As you would know, it is not sold in anywhere. But we can always find our sources. Thankfully I got this book from a friend who had purchased it before the injunction order was passed! Lucky me, I guess. And thank you my friend for letting me borrow it J


  1. It should be interesting! We used to sit in front of the TV and do the aasanaas when he showed them in Zee TV, I think. I used to stop cooking and do the aasanaas, for a long time. I started not liking him when he started coming in reality shows and showing off himself with actors. Now, he is not a yoga guru for my family members...just a money minting guru.

  2. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Would like to read this book someday... And a more authoritative autobiography from the man himself would also be appreciated!

    Destination Infinity